For those of you that have a decent sized place to live, and your computers are no where close to your bed, this post will not apply to you. But I live in a small studio apartment. So basically everything I own is on one large room, and the only other rooms are a closet and a bathroom in my place. What that means is all the computers I have on my "farm" are located in the same room I sleep in, and I hate to say this rather close to my bed.
I have recently really been working on improving my quality of sleep, and while the numbers are not certain yet, but with the Sleep Cycle application using sleep notes to monitor how my sleep is altered when I have my two noisiest computers on, computer fan noise is a big issue in affecting sleep when you computers are in your room. While I hate to say this, but at the same time I am glad from power concerns, my solution is to power down my noisy systems every night.
This has been working wonders, while it is slightly more work for me each night and each morning to turn them on and off, I feel it is really helping. Combine that with the fact that I am getting more and more frustrated with my optiplex system. It has no real way to improve its cooling, and it clearly wasn't designed to have a mid to low level GPU added with its own cooling mechinisms and keep things at a nice and cool temperature.
I try and avoid looking at the temperatures listed on my temp monitors on that computer. My GT 440 OEM seems to be running steady at 94C while not horrible is still rather scary as 6 degrees between constant running temp and its Maximum recommended temperature is not kosher for me. At the same time the more and more I look into that computer I see no real way to improve that situation, there are no additional fan mounts, and the after market CPU cooler is designed to basically occupy the entire frontal intake system, which then pumps hot air into the rest of the computer case. I will repeat that, this system has basically no way to get cool air into the rest of the case that has not travelled past the CPU heatsink.
While I have not measured the temperatures coming off the CPU heatsink, understanding Thermal properties cooling, and Newtons law of cooling basically saying that the bigger the temp difference the quicker and easier the heat goes from hot to cold. Either way it is very frustrating.
So I am planning on shutting down two computers on my farm each night for the foreseeable future. Just so I can get a nice good night sleep.